Terminally ill patients can end their own life under new law

New Jersey residents suffering from a terminal illness now have the right to end their own lives as the Right to Die bill went into effect today.

News 12 Staff

Aug 1, 2019, 11:30 AM

Updated 1,759 days ago

Share:

New Jersey residents suffering from a terminal illness now have the right to end their own lives as the Right to Die bill went into effect today.
Patients with six months or less to live who are deemed mentally competent are eligible to end their pain and suffering.
In order to receive the medication under the bill, a patient must also meet a number of conditions: They must be an adult resident of New Jersey, they must be capable and been determined by the patient's attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal disease and the patient must have voluntarily expressed a wish to die.
Advocates say the law gives patients peace of mind and more control at the end of their life.
Deb Cooperman says that she remembers how hard her mother fought and the pain she endured as she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.
"She'd done chemotherapy, radiation, she had surgeries," Cooperman says. "People always say well there is palliative care. You can do things to ease pain. But there's nothing to be done to completely ease the pain."
Cooperman's mother was a hospice volunteer who brought comfort to others in their last days. Her death prompted Cooperman to advocate for New Jersey's Death with Dignity bill, which was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in April.
"It's self-administered, so it really is a person saying, 'This is the end of my suffering,'" Cooperman says.
Cooperman says that she is not sure if her mother would have chosen to end her own life, but she says that she believes that the option would have given her mother some peace of mind.
The Catholic Church has spoken out against the law.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Newark Archdiocese says in a statement, "The gift of human life and dignity is sacred and must be respected and protected at every stage, from conception to natural death. Respect for human life encourages a trust and peace with God despite illness and suffering."
The law also requires patients to make a verbal request for a prescription that will end their lives. They then have to make the same request at least 15 days later.
The doctor also has to offer the patient the opportunity to withdraw the request at any time.


More from News 12
1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

2:45
Warm temperatures with mostly sunny skies in New Jersey

Warm temperatures with mostly sunny skies in New Jersey

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

2:10
Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

2:07
‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

1:01
2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

Water main break forces Middlesex Borough schools to close Friday

Water main break forces Middlesex Borough schools to close Friday

1:05
Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

2:10
2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

0:35
Police: New Brunswick councilwoman charged with reckless, intoxicated driving

Police: New Brunswick councilwoman charged with reckless, intoxicated driving

0:39
Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez's campaign spends over $2 million on legal fees

Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez's campaign spends over $2 million on legal fees

0:19
Sunken tombstone of veteran rescued in Nutley

Sunken tombstone of veteran rescued in Nutley